Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

ginger snaps back the beginning poster 2004 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Decent looking

Story seems like it attempts a lot but never pays off

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ginger Snaps:  The Beginning

Studio:  49 Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  July 10, 2004 (Fantasia Film Festival)/August 27, 2004 (Canada)

MPAA Rating:  R

ginger snaps back the beginning katharine isabelle emily perkins

Wait…what the hell? Why are we in old-y times?!?!

In 1815, Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins) find themselves lost and alone in the wilderness.  Discovered by a hunter (Nathaniel Arcand), the girls are taken to Fort Bailey which is facing its own problem.  The Fort and its inhabitants have been isolated by repeat attacks by giant wolves, and the fort is beginning to fall internally as well.  Ginger and Brigitte learn that a Native American seer’s warning to them might be true…and escaping Fort Bailey might not be possible.

Directed by Grant Harvey, Ginger Snaps Back:  The Beginning (or Ginger Snaps 3) is a sequel/prequel to Ginger Snaps 2:  Unleashed which was also released in 2004.  It was released direct-to-homes and received mixed or average reviews.

Ginger Snaps was an interesting and creative film, Ginger Snaps 2 was a bit more traditional in its horror, and Ginger Snaps Back tries to blend the idea of tradition and creativity, but it never quite reaches the level it seeks to attain.

ginger snaps back the beginning wolf boy

You are going to ruin your school picture!

The movie has an odd writing style with Ginger and Brigitte sometimes speaking very colloquial and sometimes speaking in period piece.  It has some aspects of the original film (with the idea that events repeat themselves), and there is a bit of a Red Riding Hood/Rose Red-Snow White theme going on with the ideas of innocence and sisters.  It unfortunately feels unbalanced in the exploration of these stories and feels like it should have picked a style, story, and theme to hit hard if it wanted this visionary-type story to work.

It is good to have the sister relationship back in Ginger Snaps Back with Katharine Isabelle returning as a lead in this movie after a smaller, subdued role in Ginger Snaps 2.  The core of the series is the relationship between the two girls.  The supporting cast is pretty expansive, but there are too many characters to follow (and apparently everyone at Fort Bailey is kind of jerk).

ginger snaps back the beginning werewolves katharine isabelle

Who let the werewolves out?

The movie has a pretty big look to it.  Being a period piece brings a whole new set of problems to a film, but the movie does a pretty solid job of creating the fort and the settings.  Due to a similar set-up, it kind of reminds me of Ravenous (1999) in its visuals and a little in its storytelling which also referenced the wendigo.

Ginger Snaps Back:  The Beginning is kind of a sad end to an interesting series.  It is sad because I feel that the characters were left with rather dead ends.  It feels like Ginger Snaps Back should have been the second film with Ginger Snaps 2 being the third film, and an exploration of Ghost and her plans for werewolf could have been explored in a fourth film.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out that way, and Ginger Snaps Back leaves you with mythology but not necessarily satisfaction.

Related Links:

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Ginger Snaps 2:  Unleashed (2004)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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